The ex-treasurer of the PP Luis Bárcenas assured in a statement in the National Court that when he entered jail for the first time in 2013 he was the victim of an espionage maneuver by the Government of Mariano Rajoy. “An operation was underway in the Ministry of the Interior to intimidate me. That existed then, now it does not exist,” said the former head of the PP accounts to the judge investigating Operation Kitchen, a compendium of extrapolitical maneuvers paid with funds reserved for try to prevent the former head of the PP accounts from putting the government party on the ropes with his revelations.
Commissioner García Castaño, to the judge: “Interior was looking for the information that Bárcenas had taken on the donations and payments in B”
The former treasurer was ratified in what he had already declared before Judge Pablo Ruz on July 15, 2013 in the framework of the case opened for his handwritten notes on the alleged ‘box B’ of the PP, when he already denounced alleged maneuvers to spy on him.
Questioned directly by the prosecutor as to whether he had any new information to make such an assertion, Bárcenas was “absolutely convinced” that his meetings with his then lawyer, Javier Gómez de Liaño, in prison had been recorded. “Of all the call centers in that center, there are three that are prepared to record conversations, and a clear proof that this is the case is that I went to another and an official would come out and tell me: ‘Get in this one’, always in those three, “he replied.
Bárcenas slipped that the order for those conversations to be recorded could have come from Jorge Fernández Díaz. “These recordings exist and are not made by judicial authorization, obviously, with which, now that we know of the existence of this operation, I would not be surprised if the Minister of the Interior gave the corresponding instructions to Penitentiary Institutions,” he commented.
The former treasurer explained that this operation was due to the fact that in the PP “they supposed that there were recordings and videos” of different leaders with Bárcenas that he would have been in charge of registering for sure. Specifically, in the statement of that February 21 two meetings come up: one with Javier Arenas in a restaurant in Seville and another at the headquarters of the PP in which the former president of the Government Mariano Rajoy, the former secretary general, would be present of the PP María Dolores de Cospedal, Arenas, Bárcenas and his wife.
Bárcenas confirmed to García Castellón, and always to questions from the Prosecutor’s Office, that those two meetings existed and about the one that took place in Rajoy’s office in Genoa he narrated that he complained to the then tenant of Moncloa about “the way in which María Dolores de Cospedal carried those issues, because he permanently leaked the press. ” “And there came a time when I said to Mariano Rajoy: ‘Either you stop María Dolores de Cospedal and tell her to stop intoxicating or you are left without a general secretary, something like that,'” he said.
However, at the same time he was emphatic in stating that “he has never” recorded a conversation, “neither on video nor in audio”, and attributed the concern in the PP for this material to “the parallel reality that the media had created in terms of to the existence of certain evidence “. “There was a lot of concern. I was sent a person to (the) Soto del Real prison to offer me to negotiate in exchange for not declaring,” he added, thus recalling another of the passages exposed to Ruz.
On the other hand, the Public Ministry was interested in how a series of documents from Bárcenas could arrive at the hands of former commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, now in preventive prison for his dark businesses, including the Kitchen.
Regarding Gómez de Liaño, Bárcenas said that his previous lawyer left him a conversation between the journalist Pedro J. Ramírez and the former treasurer, which according to the latter was not an interview but an informal talk. According to Bárcenas, Gómez de Liaño agreed to assume his defense in exchange for him being the one to set the strategy and, for this, he asked him to hand over all the documentation he had, something that he accepted.
The prosecutor then raised with Bárcenas the possibility that it was Gómez de Liaño, given his friendship with Ramírez, who would leak these documents and that they would land in Villarejo. “I do not know,” he answered at all times. However, in that same appearance he recognized some documents that he had delivered to the lawyer and that later appeared in the records to the commissioner. “This would be in the block that I sent to Mr. Gómez de Liaño,” he said.
The former treasurer, insisting that he does not know what Gómez de Liaño could do with that information, contributed his own theory, which would have his former driver, Sergio Ríos Esgueva, who García Castellón investigates as a possible spy for the Kitchen. “Mr. Villarejo can have them because Sergio has provided them, I can’t think of another,” he said.